The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s federal cartel body, has ordered the German Football league to amend its terms of the Bundesliga domestic media rights tender covering 2021/22 to 2024/25.
The Bundeskartellamt expressed concern that the tender as it currently exists would allow a single broadcaster to purchase all four subscription packages targeted at pay-TV broadcasters and over-the-top (OTT) platforms, as long as it shares one with a streaming provider.
Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt said to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: “The DFL has to present a marketing model that enables competition between different providers. A monopolist would have hardly any incentives to improve the quality of reporting and exploit the innovation potential, particularly on the internet.”
The Bundeskartellamt is advocating for two packages to be awarded non-exclusively and shared with an internet provider, while also stopping a streaming platform from purchasing all four packages
This position clashes with the view of the German Football League’s Chief Executive – Christian Seifert – who wants to avoid too many number domestic pay-tv broadcasters securing rights: “If you need three subscriptions to fully consume the Bundesliga, that would, from our point of view, heavily strain the threshold of what is bearable.”
Under the current tender DAZN, an over-the-top subscription sports streaming service, has the rights to show 40 Bundesliga matches. Public service broadcaster ZDF owns the live rights for three non-exclusive games per season and Sky Deutschland holds the rights for 266 Bundesliga matches.
It is foreseen that Deutsche Telekom with its Magena TV streaming platform will challenge Sky Deutschland and DAZN in the upcoming tender. Additionally, having won exclusive German rights to broadcast UEFA Champions League matches for three years from 2021/2022 season Amazon is expected to participate in the bidding process.